Slip & Fall
Originally posted in 2014.
I’ll be honest; I stumbled through Halloween this year. Instead of gracefully gliding past all that ridiculous Halloween candy this year, I slipped, overindulged and made myself sick. Not sick to my stomach sick, sick like my immune system gave into a silly cold that left me slightly congested and exhausted for a week.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t even worth it. The candy I did eat wasn’t delicious. It tasted over processed and over sweetened. Each time I’d cram the processed sugar into my mouth, wanting the experience to be over as soon as I decided to give into it, but unable to stop. Not only did it taste awful, I felt guilty. I gave in, I knew I gave in and I wasn’t happy about it.
I tried to eat strictly paleo, and I usually fail but I do avoid processed foods, gluten, dairy, the list goes on. So, it’s safe to say I’ve cheated on paleo before, but it is much more frequently for something that I believe will be worth it. Gluten-free wedding cake cupcakes. Coffee Au Lait in New Orleans. Frozen yogurt. Cheating for something I knew I didn’t want was terribly unpleasant because I could feel myself losing my will power as it happened. It wasn’t a conscious decision; it was impulsive and seemingly unavoidable. The problem compounded on itself, as I gave in I felt awful, which lowered my will power even more and made me more likely to give in again. It was an awful vicious cycle; I could see myself spinning around but couldn’t figure out how to stop.
The only good thing about being sick is it makes us stop everything we’re doing and reset. After a few days binge watching The Good Wife on the couch and drinking decaffeinated tea, I started to feel better and was able to think clearer. As the cold left, my will power returned. I craved fresh fruit again, and easily walked pass the candy aisle at the store. I baked paleo brownies, and have barely eaten them because the fresh raspberries just look better.
I don’t have any magical advice to give about regaining your will power. It’s one of those things that only you can do, so only you can know how to do it. However, I do have a few tips for in case you start to feel yourself slipping into unhealthy habits.
Take a Step Back
Is there something else going on that might be trigging your decisions? For me, I was busy at work, busy with my social life and busy fixing up our house. Turns out I was too busy to stop and acknowledge how being busy was impacting me so it started to take a toll. Taking a break to refocus was super helpful, as was finishing a few easy projects so I felt like I wasn’t balancing so many things on my plate.
Are you making unhealthy choices simply because that’s the easy thing to do? It’s helpful to make sure that the easiest choice is the healthiest choice. For me, it probably started when our microwave died. We don’t microwave a lot of things so we haven’t got around to replacing it. It’s normally not a big deal, but it does make grabbing leftovers out of the fridge when I’m hungry a lot harder. That left me vulnerable, because all of the sudden the quickest and most accessible thing to eat became the Halloween candy. Removing the Halloween candy from the house and replacing it with fruit removed the temptation.
Think About What’s Important
There’s that classic quote – “a moment on the lips, forever on the hips” – that truly describes our weird relationship with food. Each time I’d make an unhealthy decision, it was over before I could blink. Staying focused on what’s important to, like your health, can help you maintain your will power.